Wednesday, January 22, 2014

June debut for St. Paul Metro Green Line

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St. Paul, Minn., will join the ranks of U.S. cities served by light rail transit on June 14, 2014, when the Metro Green Line – formerly called the Central Corridor – will open for revenue service.

A statement issued Wednesday, Jan. 22, by the Metropolitan Council noted the opening will link Minnesota's state capital with the existing Hiawatha Line LRT in neighboring Minneapolis.

Met Council Chairwoman Susan Haigh said, "Starting service 60 years to the month after the last streetcar left the Twin Cities is fitting . . . For me, seeing two vibrant downtowns, numerous job, education and medical centers, and tens of thousands of people connected by this project is the most exciting part."

The 11-mile Green Line links Union Depot in St. Paul's Lowertown to the State Capitol complex, Midway, University of Minnesota, and Target Field in Minneapolis, connecting with the Hiawatha Line (also known as the Blue Line) at Downtown East Station.

The mid-June opening will allow the line to serve baseball fans attending Major League Baseball's All-Star Game at Target Field (home of the Minnesota Twins) in July, Met Council said. The opening is nearly six months earlier than required by the Federal Transit Administration, which provided half the funding for the $957 million project. The project is on budget.